Tag Archives: perth remembered

The Devil’s Rocks Grant’s Creek — Buchanan’s Scrapbooks

The Devil’s Rocks Grant’s Creek — Buchanan’s Scrapbooks

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Dec 1958, Fri  •  Page 19
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
07 Jun 1975, Sat  •  Page 31
Allan’s Mills, named for William Allan, was a small milling hamlet located just west of the town of Perth in Lanark County. The community got its start after Allan built saw and grist mills, followed by a general store and blacksmith shop. A post office was opened in 1872.
At its height, Allan’s Mills included a wagon maker, shoemaker, carpenter and two blacksmiths. The surrounding area was dotted with other small mills that included the McCabe Mill, the Ritchie Mill and the Bowes Mill. A school located on the Scotch Line was shared by all the surrounding settlements.
By the late 1890s, business was beginning to slip. Timber supplies had become depleted and farmers were making a gradual transition from wheat to dairy farming. Many of the mills did not survive the upheaval. Read- Allan’s Mills— Lanark County Ghost Town
Roadside view of Bowes Mill, on Bowes Road, Bathurst Ward, Tay Valley Township; Former dam and millpond at right. CLICK
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Oct 1955, Wed  •  Page 26

Perth Remembered

March 12, 2015  · GRANTS CREEK at DEVILS ROCKS 1910 Postcard. Anyone remember going back in there, behind what is now Conlon Farm and St. John’s HS?

Paul GordonIt was also a favorite Playground of myself and my good friends:Keith Fournier,Greg Bowes,Bart Young,and Bruce Blackburn–what an amazing natural setting–visited many times over the years.

Lyle MoodieGreat spot for spearing frogs & cranberry picking

Debra Sistywhat an adventure to be there for a day, we thought we had walked for miles.

Bryant MoodieI used to go there by duck boat from the “ice house” where my dad manufactured ice.

Stephen FortnerThere use to be goats up there too. Not sure who owned them 

Jeff WrightWow, used to canoe or walk up there most evenings, either fishing or hunting. That brings back a lot of good memories.

Richard FrizellI spent hours and hours and hours playing there when I was a kid !

Grant’s Creek at
   Glen Tay Road click

Postcard was bought at John Hart’s Book Store in Perth

Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Aug 1861, Fri  •  Page 1

Perth Remembered
January 22, 2018  · 

This photograph taken in 1901 at the time of Queen Victoria’s death shows the John Hart Book Store on Gore Street, decorated for mourning and remembrance of Queen Victoria. Mr. Hart, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, opened his establishment in the 1850’s. He did not only sell books, his retail merchandise included heavy goods, paints and oils which were stored in a two-storey building behind the shop. He also sold wallpaper and other fancy goods and fine prints.

The Wendigo’s of Devil’s Mountain

The Devil’s Telephone? The Ouija Board

Memories of When the Devil Visited Drummond Township

Please take the Devil Out of Me? Rev. James Wilson of Lanark

Here Comes the Devil

Perth fair Winners 1949 and The Perth Fair Story

Perth fair Winners 1949 and The Perth Fair Story


Comment on Perth Remembered—One of our things was finding ways to sneak into the fair without paying the entrance fee. Our best plan was, days before the fair we would dig out a space below the wire fencing on Cockburn side of the fair grounds. We would then cover it up with twigs and small branches. Then in the evening under cover of darkness…we would open up our dugout area and crawl under the wire fence. Oh those were the days!

THE PERTH FAIR  published in Perth Remembered

This picture (c. late 1800’s early 1900’s) would have been taken at the fairground location in off Wilson Street behind where the Planing Mill was and the Metro Store location now around what is now Alvin Street and Clyde Street. This land was sold as it became to small for the fairgrounds and became a housing development known as Fairholm Park. Some homes from Herriot Street were moved here when they were building the Wampole Houses. The fairgrounds were then located at the present location.

The following article is from September 2nd, 1954 – The Perth Courier


1817, a year after the town of Perth was founded, was one of great hardships and privation. The crop of potatoes was destroyed by frost and rust ruined the wheat crop. Some families were forced to live on wild leeks and other herbs found in the woods until the Government came to their aid with additional half rations and averted famine.

In spite of all these hardships and rigors of carving a home from the vast Canadian wilderness, these early pioneers found time to give thought to the improving of their live stock and their community. According to a newspaper clipping of 1838, an organization known as the Perth Agricultural and Live Stock Improvement Society, was organized which offered the services of a recently purchased horse of outstanding quality. It is not know exactly when this society was formed but in the July 11th issue of 1843 of the Bathurst Courier had a report of a director’s meeting of the “Perth Agricultural Society”. In 1846 the society was reorganized and renamed the South Riding of Lanark Electoral District Agricultural Society. Fortunately this awkward and unwieldy title was soon shortened to the South Lanark Agricultural Society.

The location of the first Fall Fair has apparently been lost in the lapse of time as no definite record has so far been located. In 1852 records show that the fair was held at the Town Hall and the Market and lands around the building. All prizes were listed in pounds, shillings and pence. Among the classes to be exhibited were: Best span of working horses – 1st – £1, 2nd – 10s – Best yolk of oxen over 2 years of ages – 1st £1, 2nd-15s – Best 20lbs of clover seed 1st 15s, 2nd 10s and Best bushel apples – 1st 5s – 2nd 3s.

The first real home came in March of 1874 when the society purchased 7.5 acres of ground at a point just north of what is now the junction of Highways 7 and 15 know locally as Greenlee’s Corners. Here they erected a number of buildings.

By 1882 the society had progressed to the point where a premium list and regulations for the annual exhibition to be held at Perth, September 27, 28, and 29 was issued in booklet form with classes for live stock, fruits, flowers, vegetables and handicrafts.

As the grounds were a considerable distance from the town proper the directors of that time considered that it would be to the advantage of the society to dispose of the property in favour of a location nearer to the centre of town, As a result a new site, west of Wilson Street was purchased in July of 1891 the former ground being sold.

In a few years, however, it was decided that the new grounds were too small, so these in turn were sold and converted into a housing project, following the purchase of the present grounds at the southern boundary of the town in May of 1912. This site equipped with an excellent half-mile track had been the scene of many athletic events. The Agricultural Society immediately proceeded to erect buildings.

THE PERTH FAIR (story appeared – September 2nd, 1954 – The Perth Courier


With information gathered from the diaries of the early settlers, one can almost picture those first Fair days. The early morning stillness broken by the squealing of the wooden wheeled potash carts of the new settlers as they bounced and jolted their protesting way along the Rockeby road. Travelling all night or stopping at the home of some friend along the way, they were always among the first to arrive, ready to exchange their loads of potash with G.S.B. Roberts or some other merchant for groceries or dry goods and a little change to take in the Fair.

All through the morning farm wagons kept rumbling into town, Father, Mother and the youngest perched upon the high pole seat, while the other children, along with two or three of the neighbors rode in the box upon a thick carpet of marsh hay, their noisy babble adding a certain air of festivity to the occasion. Every once in a while the son of one of the older established and more prosperous farmers would pass with his girl, on the way to the fair, the new side spring buggy or two wheeled gig, drawn by a fast horse, the pride of the owners heart.

Around 10 o’clock in the morning the oldest boy, ably assisted by one or two neighbor lads of around the same age (for persons necessary to deliver live stock shalt be admitted free), began to arrive leading, pushing, driving or hanging on to some reluctant member of the animal kingdom. In fact, it can be gathered from the accounts, that persons with a broader sense of humor, had more fun watching the arrival of some of these exhibits than at the fair itself.

What with McCallum’s Tavern “setting up the good stuff”, and William Lock’s Brewery offering malt whisky at 4 shillings a gallon, it is safe to assume that some at least partook freely. Many of older members of the community can still recall the horse races on to create a diversion, or a spirited way home from Perth Fair. Neck and neck, wagon or democrate bounding on the cobblestones; it was take to the ditch and let them pass, or be run over.

Yes, Perth Fair fifty to a hundred years ago was something to look forward to and many were the hard bargains that were driven to earn the necessary funds to attend. One district resident recalled an agreement whereby he arose at five o’clock every morning from June to September and travelled more than a mile to bring the cows in from pasture for the morning milking, in order to earn 50 cents to take in Perth fair. He also recalled planting and tending widow’s garden all Summer for a dollar, extra money being required to attend the Marks Brothers Show on the evening of the fair, for it was said locally that your were not considered a man until you had been permitted to stay and see Marks’ Show, while the rest of the family went home to do the evening chores. It did not matter that you had to walk eleven miles after midnight or that your hair rose when you heard those pursuing footsteps as you passed through the loneliness part of the road.

Speaking of the Marks Brothers Show. No history of Perth Fair could be written without recalling these brothers of Christie’s Lake a few miles from Perth. On fair nights fifty years or so ago, the Perth Town Hall was crowded, as hundreds came to this big entertainment feature of the year, to watch, with necks craned above uncomfortable starched collars, the flying ankles of the dancers, or to cheer the valiant “Gerry the Tramp”, as he arose ragged and uncouth, to rescue the heroine from the clutches of the dapper villain.

PHOTO: Two different eras with a track and field event on the race track in the early 1900’s to the popular harness racing at the Perth Fair. The picture on the top would be at the fairground location in off Wilson Street behind where the Planing Mill was and the Metro Store. This was known as Fairholm Park. The picture at the bottom at the current location.

THE PERTH FAIR – September 2nd, 1954 – The Perth Courier


In this day of speed, a bicycle race would arouse but little interest. This was not the case away back in the era of the “High Fronts”, when only the more daring young gentlemen of the community even dared to clamber up upon “those infernal contraptions”, as angered horsemen were wont to call the first bicycles, with their high front wheel and small rear one, that rattled along doing its best to support the rider perched high above the wide spread handle bars.

It was only natural then that the bicycle race held at Perth Fair, some time in the late eighties was considered an event of great importance. The race, a quarter mile affair, was held on the road before the grounds, with the finishing line somewhere between the two gates. Down the road they came, with the rider of the bicycle having the largest front wheel well in the lead. The pedals being fixed to the front axle, the riders swung their feet free as they crossed the finish line, and coasted on down the road, the winner swerving sharply through the gate, to strike a cow that was being led to the ring. The resulting excitement still bringing smiles to the faces of those recalling the incident.

One of the last events to take place at the old fair grounds at Greenslees’ Corners was the balloon ascent. Although the passage of time dimmed the event in the memory of many residents of the district, here are some of the details upon which most accounts agree:

The balloonist and crew, having spent the morning and most of the afternoon inflating the bag over a fire in a pit, made final preparations for the ascent by hauling the parachute into a tube-like affair suspended above the balloon. The balloonist clambered into the basket and upon a given signal the crew cut the anchor ropes. Up shot the balloon leaving a breathless, spellbound crowd below. When considerable height was reached, the balloonist proceeded to do acrobatics on a trapeze, finally dropping from the basket feet first, followed by the parachute, which opened after an agonizing second or two. A great cheer went up as the south wind begin to drift the parachute and its passenger off towards the marsh lands north of the town. With one accord the young and more energetic set out in hot pursuit, breaking part of the high board fence at the back of the grounds in their haste. The balloonist meantime had drifted ever so gently down to land, (so some reports say), in a small tree, from which he was assisted by many willing hands and a couple of fence rails.

The feature attraction of the 1913 fair was a Texan show, complete with wild horses and beautiful cow girls. The first evening in town, the star bucker of the show, “The hoss that hed neva bin rid’n”, decided to prove that he was all that they said he was, by kicking the end out of the horse barn. One farmer in recalling the incident, said he thought more people went to see the hole in the stable wall, than went to see the Show.

In 1945 the society was able to purchase a large shed from one of the local Churches, and was moved to the fair grounds where it was placed upon a permanent concrete foundation.

I am sure there are countless memories and stories of the Perth Fair. Do you have one? Come and bring the family and enjoy yourselves to this years edition of the Perth Fair and make more memories.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.


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I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.

Are You Ready to Visit the Open Doors?

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The Dogs of Lanark County–Alex Cram

The Dogs of Lanark County–Alex Cram


Photo-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum-Photographer Annie Duff


In doing research for the Bridge Street, Carleton Place series I found some funny notes made by Marjorie Whyte. I have mentioned before that the Mississippi Hotel had quite the characters boarding there during the time Walter Mcllquham owned the hotel. Mcllquham doubled the room capacity to 56.

There was a Mr. McCabe who was tall, had a huge moustache, and always dressed in gray. Even though the gentleman was grand in appearance he was considered what one would have called a ‘derelict’ in those days. McCabe was often seen hanging around in the doorways of vacant stores muttering to himself.

Then there was Bill Green who wore an eyepatch and was one of the night clerks. If you remember the story about the fire in the Mississippi Hotel the devastating blaze it was caused by a defective south-end chimney right beside Bill Green’s room. Last but not least was Babe Morrison who played on the local Carleton Place hockey team.

However, one of the oddest characters living at the hotel was Alex Cram who was best known by the two-tone shoes he wore. Cram owned a fine British Bulldog that sported an odd collar and tag. It read:

“I am Alex Cram’s dog- who the hell are you?”



Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum-One of the Schwerdtfeger sisters (Hazel? or Gladys?) poses in the snow with her dog Perky in front of their home at 68 Lake Avenue West sometime in the 1960’s.



Perth Remembered–PERTH WINTER CARNIVAL 1958

Another great action shot of the Dog Sled Races shown here at the corner of Foster and Gore Street. Correction from yesterday’s post, (thanks to the keen eye of Brian Gilhuly to notice the correct church, I then researched the building to the left). So after the research, that is indeed St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church shown to the right in the background and James Brother’s Garage (Fred Frizell was mechanic there) to the left background. This building was bought by Bell Canada and demolished in 1962. Bell switching station is in that location now.-Perth Remembered
Bonny Dee Hamilton– I remember when they came down Harvey St. I also remember someone leaving their car door open a VW beetle and a team going into that car. What a mess they had untangling the dogs. –Perth Remembered
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A day of liesure and time for an outing 1905. Pictured ready to go for a drive in a dump-cart in the yard at Joe Ebbs’ farm, are, from left; Miss Sarah McCoy, Mrs. Thomas Ireton (who brought her knitting along), Mrs. Albery, young George Ireton the driver and Harold Albery. Between the two boys is their dog.-Perth Remembered
Perth Remembered–Some of the Merchants of Perth advertising for the 2nd Pre-International Dog Derby, January 1955.
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Carleton Place Canadian files–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum



 Horrors! We came across a dog poop sitting right on the Boulton Brown millstone! Who did that???
Not one of OUR dogs.

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)




Notes About The First Baptist Church in Perth

Notes About The First Baptist Church in Perth

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Baptist-church.jpgFirst Baptist Church- from Perth Remembered

Perth Courier, May 31, 1889

The New Baptist Church

The opening of the now very complete Baptist Church, on D’Arcy Street, under Rev. D. Laing, took place last Sunday and marks another step in the progress of the church history of this town.  The people of Perth have the reputation of being an eminently church going people which estimation does them no more than simple justice.  This being the case, it follows that they should desire a convenient and modern place of worship.

The old church in which the Baptist congregation worshipped for so long had been brought to a knowledge of a better life and around which so many sweet memories had been woven—had become too small for the proper prosecution of church work and somewhat more than a year ago the congregation determined to erect a new edifice and the contract for the new building was let in April of last year and on the 28th June the cornerstone was laid by Mrs. McMillan, the oldest consistent member of the church here.




First Baptist Church- from Perth Remembered–The original First Baptist Church in Perth in the location of the present building. The building to the left of the church is the Parsonage of the First Baptist Church at 21 D’Arcy Street. Note the wooden sidewalks. In 1925 the roof of this house was raised to provide for a full second story.

Only two members who witnessed the erection of the first church survived to see the opening of the second, Mrs. McMillan of Perth and Mrs. James McLaren of Drummond.  The church is of red brick with stone foundation and a basement.  Cathedral stained glass windows ornament the front and the ceiling and other woodwork is of dressed pine relived by imitation of cherry.  The aisles are carpeted.  The pulpit desk is small but of neat design and colour.  Behind this is a handsome pulpit sofa presented by D. Hogg and behind this is the main baptistery.

Electric light is used and the building is to be heated by furnaces.  On the building committee were Dr. Kellock, chairman, J.F. Kellock, H. S. Leckie, Robert Ritchie, William Allan.  The history of the congregation from its organization to the present time was given in a very interesting and concise form by Dr. Kellock at the Monday night meeting as follows;  In the year 1841 through the generous efforts of some friends in and around Perth, a chapel was erected on the side of the present building.  This structure of 30 by 48 feet was plain and innocent of paint.

Baptist ministers visited Perth and preached from time to time but the church was not organized until after the arrival of Rev. R. A. Fyfe who began his missionary labours here in April of 1842.  The church was organized by him on the 31st Oct., 1842 having been dismissed from the Beckwith Church for this purpose. These with three others formed the constituent members.  The only survivor of those is Mrs. (Cal) McMillan of Perth and Mrs. James McLaren of Drummond and who were, after a lapse of 47 years, present at the opening of the service on the night of the 26th inst.  The Rev. R.A. Fyfe (afterward Dr. Fyfe), the devoted and honored head and founder of Woodstock College, was the first pastor with a stipend of sixty pounds a year, half of which might be paid in country produce or store goods.

Three deacons, a treasurer, a clerk and five trustees constituted the first office bearers.  Mr. Fyfe continued his ministry for about a year when he was summoned to Montreal to take the oversight of the Baptist College in that city.  He was succeeded by Rev. James Cooper (afterwards Dr. Cooper) just from Scotland, a faithful, earnest pastor, whose memory is dear to all.  In 1847 he was succeeded by Rev. P. McDonald, who left the following year when Mr. Fyfe resumed the pastorate but owing to the failure of his wife’s health he was compelled to leave once more after another year’s service.  The following ministers have been in charge since that time 1847 viz:  Rev. Messrs. Porterfield, R. Hamilton, John Cameron, Ashton, J. Mackie, Thomas Henderson, R. Nutt (?), W.A. Caldwell, J. Forth, J. W. Thorne and D. Laing, the present pastor.

Fourteen pastors in 47 years, an average pastorate of over three years; the longest that of Mr. Forth, 8 years and 4 months, the shortest that of Mr. Porterfield, six months.  Most of these were faithful, earnest, godly men, some of them afterwards attaining to the highest positions of honour in the denomination.



In 1841 the original church was erected on the site of the present building. The building 30 feet by 48 feet, plain, unpretentious and void of paint, was erected on the site of the present brick church on D’Arcy street, and REV. R.A. FIFE was the first minister.  A year afterwards Mr. Fife was called to take charge of the Baptist College in Montreal and was succeeded in Perth by REV. JAMES COOPER. The old building in its lifetime had undergone repairs and additions as circumstances demanded. In 1851 the addition of a tower gave it a more ecclesiastical appearance.

In April, 1888, the contract for the edifice having been let the old historical church in which the Baptists had worshipped for two or three generations, where so many had been brought to the knowledge of a better life, the scene of many hallowed memories, was torn down. While the new one was being built the congregation met for worship in the Music Hall. On the 28th June, the corner stone was laid by Mrs. McMillan, the oldest member of the church, assisted by Hattie Kennedy (Mrs. Arthur Jackson) and Margaret Robertson, the two youngest members.

Services appropriate to the occasion were held, an eloquent address being delivered by Dr. Castle, principal of McMaster College, Toronto. In 1875 a vestry was added at the rear of the main building but the old chapel had to be replaced and a new structure was built in 1889. The opening of the new church took place on Sunday, May 31st, 1889.– from Perth Remembered



The Klassens in Concert
Public · Hosted by First Baptist Church, Perth, Ontario

Friday, April 28 at 7 PM – 8:30 PM

17 D’Arcy St, Perth, ON K7H 2T9, Canada



Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

Related Reading:


Smith’s Falls and District Baptist Church

Memories of The Old Church Halls

Tales From the Methodist Church in Perth

Knox Church– McDonald’s Corners

The Littlest Church in Ferguson Falls

The Beckwith Baptist Church

Old Churches of Lanark County

Before and After — Auld Kirk

Another Example of Local Random Acts of Kindness- Zion Memorial United Church

Hallelujah and a Haircut —Faces of St. James 1976

What did Rector Elliot from St. James Bring Back from Cacouna?

The Emotional Crowded Houses– St. James

A Sneeze of a Tune from St. Andrew’s Church in Carleton Place

The Old Church in Island Brook That Needs a Home

Let The Church Rise– A Little History of St. James Anglican Church

The Church that Died

Pinball Was Corrupting Our Children in Lanark County



Photo-Slot machine raids were often conducted as media events. Pinterest

From the beginning of pinball in the early 1930s, a recurring problem encountered by the pinball industry was the anti-gambling forces. Because of the preponderance of Slot Machines, trade stimulators and other gambling devices, many people opposed to gambling were suspicious of ALL coin-operated devices. As a result, for many years to come, pinballs had to be defended as being amusement and not gambling devices.

One must realize though that many pinball parlours, bowling alleys and bars were seedy and prone to be habited by low life people, who in addition to gambling were casting bets on the side. Slot machine raids were often conducted as media events. The press was pre-invited so the politicians could get maximum publicity.




A clamp down on pinball machine operators was in full swing in Eastern Ontario in the spring of 1959. Twenty machines were seized with nine of them being confiscated. The purge started after several complaints about illegal gaming houses. Five electric pinball machines, estimated at a value of $4,000 were burnt at the Perth and Almonte dumps under the supervision of the Perth OPP detachment.

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The Ottawa Journal26 Jan 1940, FriPage 1

Over $233 in nickels were removed from the coin boxes prior to the machines being smashed and burnt. In charge of the clamp-down was Constable D. Pierce an Corp. L. Gartner of the OPP Perth detachment. For the machines to be destroyed, thirty-one days had to elapse after an operator was convicted. The forfeited money was sent to the local magistrate who in turn would forward the money to the provincial treasure. Photo shows an O.P.P. constable smashing a pinball machine at the dump.

Ken Brown from Brown’s Pool Hall on Gore Street was quotes in the Perth Courier that he had nearly been put out of business. One would say it was a slippery slope to the Mafia taking over the town:)

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The Ottawa Journal04 May 1959, MonPage 7



No doubt about it– You Couldn’t Touch these pinball machines as it was Hammer Time in the 50s.

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

Shaw’s of Perth


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Photo- Google Earth


Shaw’s Of Perth is an institution in Lanark County. This is sad news– See my take on the announcement at the bottom.

Anne Thomlison commented yesterday on the  Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page–Who were the owners of Shaw’s of Perth over the years? Surely it isn’t still the Matheson family.

Here is what I found out…

R. Matheson & Co. general merchants, known later as Shaw’s of Perth, at 1 Gore Street East, was once one of the oldest Canadian businesses operating out of its original store since 1840. The Honourable Roderick Matheson built both his private home (now Matheson House- Perth Museum) and the store, which was also used as a saddle and harness shop. 

According to Canada’s Historic Places: the stone wall joins the two unique buildings on the corner of the two main streets and therefore is an integral part of the streetscape.  The town of Perth designated it a registered L.A.C.A.C. building Heritage Designated Property in 1984 and the store celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2009.

The L-shaped building has a high gable roof and three chimneys. A cut-stone covered carriage archway connects the main building to the original coach house and stable along Foster Street (now the Goodwood Oven). The laneway is conveyed and designated as a free and uninterrupted right-of-way of ingress and egress for pedestrians.


The white house to the left is the original Matheson House that was moved and replaced by the stone building that is now home to the Perth Museum. Photo: Courtesy The Perth Museum-Perth Remembered


Henry D Shaw of Smiths Falls, married Flora, a daughter of Mr. Matheson, and opened a clothing store on the site in 1859. The store was originally fronting on Foster Street, because it was thought to be the main street in the mid-1800s. When it wasn’t a priority, the owners covered up the openings. The original sign, “The Store With a Smile – Shaw’s – Perfect Service”, can still be seen on the wall. It was in the family hands until the early 1980’s and iconic David Bromley’s (Perth Remembered) father was the manager of Shaws from the 1950s-1980s.

The store was also used as a print office for the seldom mentioned Perth Expositor (forerunner of The Perth Courier). When Lee Huddleston from Perth (read on Perth Remembered) was researching his family he travelled to  Toronto to tape an interview with Isobel Huddleson, then 94 years young. He told her he was having difficulty locating some information regarding particular family in the Perth Courier Archives.

Isobel bristled, leaned forward in her chair, and said,

“The Perth Courier!! Huddleston’s only ever read the Perth Expositor. We didn’t read that liberal rag!” 



Sale at Shaw’s 1901


When I used to go to Perth, I made a point of purchasing something from Shaw’s of Perth because I loved them, and especially the beautiful antique desk counter that had been in the store since 1875.

Tweed & Hickory who had stores in Cornwall and Kanata took over Shaw’s of Perth. Candas Serwa also made a comment that Price Teak Hair Fashions, originally owned and operated by Mr. Randy Cavanagh, had operated from the basement level of Shaw’s in the 70’s.

What do you remember about Shaw’s of Perth? Please comment and I will document it.



Hi Linda

This is such interesting information. I started working at Shaw’s right out of college in 1977. It had just been sold to Glen Crain, John Quigley and Jackson Briggs. We opened in May of that year under the new ownership. At that time there was Men’s wear at the back of store, Ladies accessories at the front, a Canadiana shop in the side area and Ladies wear on the second floor. At that time and for a number of years to come I worked with Walter Bromley, Doris Chaplin, Dorothy Truelove, Lois Sargeant (some of the originals who had worked for the Shaw family) I remember when the coachhouse at the back was cleaned out and renovated for Heritage Silversmith to move in. There were some great treasure in there that hadn’t seen light of day in many years.Working at Shaw’s was a great experience. I was there for 8 years and saw many more changes. It is an amazing building with an incredible history. re Shaw’s of Perth– Linda McKenna



My memory of Shaw’s is of my mother, Jean Fife Rubino, who regularly had her hair “done” each Friday, downstairs in the Shaw building(the trap door is still there) by Mary Sheridan, the local hairdresser…in the 50-60’s.

I also remember a gracious and beautiful lady, Mrs. Chaplin, Gary Chaplin LLB’s mother, greeting everyone who walked into Shaw’s front door where she stood behind a costume jewelry counter, beaming….how pleasant!

As a tiny teenager then, “we” bought a few special dresses upstairs for me…do you remember the line, Jonathon Logan? All fond memories of our Perth Anchor store, right across from James Brother’s Hardware Store(now Dragon Moon), another anchor store for many years. Josie Rubino Roberts of Otty Lake


Danielle King
When I was little I would stay at my Grandparents cottage on Otty lake and on ‘wash and grocery’ days Grandma and I would come into Perth and stop at Shaw’s to see Grandpa (Walter Bromley). I can still see him standing there in the Men’s department looking so handsome with his hands behind his back waiting to help the next customer. He would be happy to see me of course but we could never stay too long because he had work to do. I would watch him between the clothing racks. Such a great building and a long history!



Picture taken c.1896, behind Shaw’s, of the two horse-power equipment that for many years ran the paper press of The Perth Expositor. At that time the plant was located in part of Shaw’s department store on Gore Street. Henry Kehoe (sitting) was in charge of the “merry-go-round”. The Hon. Col. A. J. Matheson, MPP for South Lanark and former Ontario Provincial Secretary was the publisher of the Expositor in 1896. Shown above, (left) include James Steacy, foreman George Jackman, William T. Noonan, Ed. C. Stone, in the window (left) Stanton Lee and Wiliam J. McCarthy. Photo: The Perth Courier-Perth Remembered


Monty Doyle emailed me and added the following information:

Hi Linda

I just read the article and other attachments.  Really well done.  I learned a lot!  Just few things to point out quickly.  One is that Walter Bromley was the manager of the Men’s wear which was a major part of the store operation.   My aunt Mrs. Norah Clemens was the manager of the ladies wear and was also the manager of the store over all.  Norah, and her 2 sisters Helen Shaw and Mary  Doyle (my mother) were the three owners of the store at the time of its sale.  It was sold in 1979 to a consortium of 4 businessmen in Perth led by Glen Crain.



David Bromley-Perth Remembered-I saved this Auction Poster from the garbage pile at Shaw’s when they were renovating the store after the “Shaw Girls” sold the store in the early 80’s. You would not believe what went out to the dump but I was able to get some great stuff. This poster would have been printed by the Perth Expositor that was on the second floor of Shaw’s at the time. This poster is dated Drummond 1887. George Devlin was the auctioneer.

PERTH, ONARIO- reconstruction after a fire of a commercial block for the Matheson Estate, for Shaw & McKerracher, 1898 (Perth Courier, 5 Aug. 1898, 5; 28 Oct. 1898, 6, descrip.)MARTIN, George Thomas (1844-1925) dominated the local architectural scene in Smith’s Falls, Ont. and in surrounding counties of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville for nearly twenty-five years. Born in Surrey, England he came to Canada in 1870 and settled in Toronto where he worked as a carpenter and builder. In 1879 or 1880 he moved to eastern Ontario where much of his work involved the construction of stations and bridges for the Canadian Pacific Railway, but his achievements in this field fall outside the scope of this work. In early 1889 he moved to Smith’s Falls and opened an architectural office (Rideau Record [Smith’s Falls], 2 May 1889, 4). Martin’s local fame rests largely on his ability to design distinctive and robust institutional and ecclesiastical works. He invariably adopted a brusque Romanesque Revival style for his large scale projects, taking advantage of the abundance of building stone found in the Hughes quarry near Perth. He also possessed a vision for the ‘grand plan’, setting out a scheme to connect all the summer resorts on the Rideau River with an electric railway (C.R., x, 16 Aug. 1899, 3). In 1907 he was the patentee of a method to improve the construction of railway coaches (C.A.B., xx, June 1907, x). Few works can be attributed to him after 1910. Martin died in Smith’s Falls on 4 March 1925 (obituary and port. in Smiths Falls Record News, 5 March 1925, 5).

-The Merchants, Professionals and Tradespeople of Perth, Gus Quattrocchi, Perth (1997)

The Merchants, Professionals and Tradespeople of Perth by Gus Quattrocchi. This book is a record of 180 years of history of the merchants of Perth. This book is available at the Museum and other merchants in downtown Perth. All proceeds from the sale of this book are directed to the continued good works of the Perth Museum.

To purchase this book: The Perth Museum


It is very easy to see what happened as it happened to me. Years ago I had a store. Family owned the building. After 25 years my late husband was presented with an offer of leasing my store for a huge sum of money for a sports bar. So as I had no lease I was told to vacate the premises which I did 3 months later. It was written up in the citizen so no secrets here. But, he and I owned the name of the store through incorporation so if he had wanted to use the name of my store he legally could have. Justine’s Bridal; wear on Sussex ran into this issue years ago too. So there is no doubt the current leasee of 24 years has to vacate the building. It’s all over Shaws of Perth’s page. They have to sell off their merchandise and vacate the premises and as they had no lease there is nothing they can do. I also think there are other names owning the title ” Shaws’s of Perth” like the landlord so he can legally do what he wants. That is an immensely prestigious name so I would not be surprised a few folks have a hold on it. All in all the current lessee is vacating the store.. that does not change.


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun


The Flood in Perth



Photo from Perth Remembered–Photo shows Arthur Ralyea making his way around in a boat at the corner of North an d Sherbrooke Streets in front of the Perth Shoe Factory. Wampoles and Jergens in the background.


Ever wonder why the town  of Perth considered Foster Street to be in a flood plain?


A Flood in Perth Last Week. Perth Shoe Co. Employees Ferried to Work – Streets and Cellars Flooded.

Perth was the scene of a flood last week, the most serious experienced in the town for upwards of forty years. Fortunately, it only lasted for a short time and no great loss was incurred. As announced the Courier last week the two tributaries of the Tay River here overflowed their banks on Thursday and at night following that situation the section of the town from Beckwith Street embracing James Brothers Foundry, Perth Shoe Co. plant and the C.P.R. property became flooded and beyond the C.P.R. main tracks the fields were covered with water and presented a large lake-like appearance.


The 2nd line road more familiarly known as the “Long Swamp” road was completely submerged with water from near the tracks to past the beginning of the McLaren swamp, the water easily reaching to the height of an ordinary wagon box, Friday and Saturday operations were ceased in James Brothers Foundry. On Friday it was impossible to use steam at the plant of the Perth Shoe Company and many of the employees were dismissed from work. The office staff and a few in other departments, however went to work but had to be ferried by boats from the foot of Foster Street and on Sherbrooke Street to the plant. The basement of the plant was cleared of certain of the stock in storage there and the firm’s loss in that respect was slight.


The residences on Sherbrooke Street were practically islands as they were all surrounded by water. Beckwith Street from the skating rink corner to near the boy’s playground of the Public School was submerged by a couple of feet of water and many of the cellars of the houses in the vicinity were flooded. Saturday and Sunday the water began to gradually lower and on Monday the streets were almost in their normal condition again. Since last week the waters of the Tay have also lowered considerably and thus ended any further anxiety.



Author’s note- I tried in vain to find other newspaper reports but those issues of the Almonte Gazette were missing from 1926. In the Ottawa Journal archives it described how the flume of the old grist mill which has stood the ravaging of Spring waters for over 40 years on the Tay River was crumbling.

Because of the breaking of this flume the waters had begin to rise to the bank, but farther down the fields were flooded for miles around. Over three feet of water was lying in those fields. The C.P.R. yard was flooded and the water had come up North Street and James Brothers Foundry was surrounded by two feet of water. The cellars on Herriot Street were also flooded and logs were places in Bob’s Lake hoping to stop the water.


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

How Many People Read About Lanark County in 2016? Top Stories?




Municipal Map.jpg

Let’s Check Out What Happened in 2016!

So in the middle of 2016 I expanded my writing to include all of Lanark County on the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page. Here are the 2016’s year end results as of December 30 10:33 am–

In 2016 we had over 722,102 views and 590,692 visits from 131 countries who read about Lanark County (and now Quebec Eastern Townships) history.

Facebook brought in the most hits, next it was various search engines I use and then Twitter coming in second and third respectively. The top countries reading our local stories are:  Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Turks & Caicos Islands, Germany and Australia– and Mexico coming up strong this year.

Here is the deal- I can’t do this alone– no one can–it is only through sharing stories and commenting that we make history come alive! So thank you for helping get the word out about Lanark County. Now let’s keep spreading the word– we can do this!

The top 15 Stories of the Year

The Sad Remains of Law & Orders– Destroyed last Night

Was it Just a Matter of Time? The Old Barracks

In Memory of Wandering Wayne –Wayne Richards

Local Man’s Dad Was Leader of The Stopwatch Gang

The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

Chesswood of Carleton Place –THE MENU

The Abandoned Farm House in Carleton Place — Disappearing Farms

Did You Know About the Crotch Lake Disaster?

The Rooftop Christmas Tree in Carleton Place (2016)

Going Once- Going Twice- Carleton Place Sold to the Highest Bidder?

Aerial Images of the Old Cold War Barracks Fire-Carole and Bill Flint

The Thomas Easby Murders in 1829 — Foulest Ever in Lanark County

Patterson’s Restaurant Perth

What Happened to the House and Family on Frank Street –Part 1

Can Anyone in Carleton Place Hear Me?


Happy New Year and Thanks for reading!!  It is only through sharing stories and commenting that we make history come alive!

Linda Seccaspina

Related Reading:

How Many People Read the Tales of Carleton Place? Top Stories? 2015

There She Is–The Scarf Queens of Carleton Place 2016


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News


The Fighting Lads of Lanark County WW1–Who Do You Know?



From Perth Remembered130th Battalion marching down Gore Street 1915.



Also read —Family History Tip: Researching and Remembering Our Veterans by Arlene Stafford Wilson


5th November, 1917

Dear Sister and All:

Just to let you know I am well and getting on fine.  I suppose you heard I was slightly wounded and reported a casualty but glad to say I will be about again in a few days.  I met H. Reid coming out of action while I was going in; he looked well and is safe as far as I know.  R. Gamble was well when I left for the dressing station but a large number of the 240th boys were gone the long trail fighting like heroes and died like men not afraid of doing all that Canada expected of her soldiers and more.  I must mention one who when severely wounded in the knee was ordered back to the rear when the word passed along Fritz is coming over.  He simply said I cannot run but I can shoot and fixing his bayonet charged over the parapet with the rest of the company which was the last I heard of him.  Then there is something else you would be interested in—how the Red Cross are doing their bit.  I saw them taking a wounded man on a stretcher and wading almost through knee deep mud and shells bursting everywhere carrying on coolly as if it were raining and carrying the stretcher for a distance of almost two miles, wounds dressed and placed in a motor ambulance then rushed to the hospital where they receive every attention imaginable for comfort.  I will write again soon so do not worry and I expect to be out of the hospital in a short time.

Your loving brother,

Pte. J.F. Brown #1042469

21st Battery, Canada, France



Unidentified photographer, Unidentified Soldier and Wife 1914–18, gelatin silver print, 9 × 14 cm. Private collection.–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum



Pte. John Gibson, Bathurst who lately returned from the battlefields suffering from physical weakness, was honored by his neighbors and friends at a public gathering in Campbell’s Hall, Fallbrook, on Thursday night, 24thJan., when an address was read and Reeve John Blair addressed the meeting and called to witness the unselfish spirit which prompted Pte. Gibson to leave the comforts of civil life for the sake of his country’s honor.  He had joined the ranks of that noble band of young lusty Canadians who had done so much to establish the name of Canada firm and lasting among the best of the earth who are determined that justice and truth shall not perish.  Many would never return but there names and the deeds they did will remain in the hearts and memories of all loyal Canadians who are proud that the might of her sons did not fail in the hour of peril.  Mr. George Kerr also added words of eulogy for gallant service and welcome to the hearts and affections of the people of the soldier’s old home.  Mr. DeQuitteville and Miss Margaret Blair added to the pleasure of the occasion by their singing of songs and also recitations by Miss Lake, Ruby Skillington and Jessie Anderson.  Pte. Gibson acknowledged all these kind marks of esteem and assured his hearers that he was proud to be a Canadian more than ever.  He enlisted in March of 1915 with the 130th Battalion and continued in the ranks with his comrades to France and all through the important operations in which he took part.

Perth Courier, Feb. 22, 1918

Pte. Hugh Miller, son of Mrs. Benjamin Miller of North Burgess returned from overseas to his home on Monday last.  He went overseas with the 93rd(Peterboro) Battalion and saw considerable service in France before being severely wounded in the limb in January of 1917.  He spent one year in hospitals in England.

Shanon Bowers

Hi Linda, I was going through some of you photos and saw that you were collecting names of servicemen from the First WW. I don’t know if you have my Lucas relatives so I am adding them here if that’s ok.
Private Lorne Gideon Lucas b. Sept 1883; d. 1 Oct 1916 in Somme France. Burried in Conlay British Cemetary.
Private David Henry Lucas, b. 24 May 1890 – d. 30 Dec. 1915 in the trenches north of Wulverghem. Burried in R.E. Farm Cemetary, Belgium.
These two men were brothers the sons of David Richard Lucas and Martha Rathwell. They were my great grandmother Ida Lucas Ward’s nephews



From Perth Remembered–Part of the 42nd Lanark and Renfrew Regiment and the First Active Service Draft from that Regiment, marching down Gore Street in front of Conway’s, Thursday 20th August 1914. The Officer, second from the right is Captain W.H.V. Hooper of Carleton Place Ontario. The march past of the Perth business section before proceeding to the C.P.R. Station to entrain for Valcartier Camp, Québec.


Pte. Alf Fielding who has been overseas for two years returned home this week on leave.

Correction in the List of Appeals

In the list of Military Service Act appeals last week those given as disallowed were disallowed further exemptions by the Appeal Tribunal but exemption granted by the other local tribunals still remain as before.  Therefore, it must not be understood the original exemptions obtained by applicants were also disallowed.  A number of errors crept into the list which was quite lengthy and the current exemptions in these cases are as follows:

  1. J. Sadley, allowed to October, 1920, Carleton Place

James Legary, allowed while farming, McDonald’s Corners

Robert W. Sargeant, exempt till Class 2, Maberly, #2

Fred L.  W- – i n -, allowed, Almonte, #4

Howard McCreary, exempt while farming, Carleton Place

Wallace M. Johnson, exempt till Class 2, Carleton Place

Byron Bolton Bowland, exempt as farmer, Carleton Place, @1

William J. Henry, exempt till Class 2, Carleton Place, #1

John W. Cram, allowed, Carleton Place

Donald N. McDougall, allowed, Carleton Place

Thomas Albert Armstrong, allowed, Carleton Place #1

John Alfred Lowe, allowed, Carleton Place #1

Russell Hammond Willows, allowed, Carleton Place #1

John Thomas Sadler(?), allowed, Carleton Place #1

Russell G. Burns, Category C., Lanark

Walter G. Cameron, allowed to Sept., 1918, Fallbrook

Lawrence Flemming, Category C

Stephen McArthur, Category E., Almonte

William Aubrey Hunt, allowed to September, 1918, Pakenham

Frances L. Galvin, allowed to January 15, 1919(?), Carleton Place

Albert Henry Cooper, allowed to Sept. 1, 1918, Stanleyville

James Joseph Pennett, allowed while farming, Perth #2

Thomas C. Morris, allowed to April, 1918, Carleton Place



Perth Remembered—CHRISTMAS DAY 1940, found J. C. Murphy in Reykjauik, Iceland, with the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa in H.G. Co. “Murph”, a member of the Perth Legion.


The Epworth League and Sunday School of Carleton Place Methodist Church received a letter from Capt. Hooper still a prisoner of war in Switzerland acknowledging a Christmas parcel and stating that he is to have another chance for release.  If on examination he is 50 per cent physically unfit his release will be allowed.

Mrs. Robert Cordick of town received the following letter recently from the lieutenant commanding the platoon in which her son the late George Cordick was serving when he fell in Belgium.

Dear Mrs. Cordick:

I have put off many times writing you about your son’s death.  I had the honor to command the platoon which your son was in for most of the summer and I got to know him well.  We went through many bad places and had many lucky escapes then came the big fight in Belgium.  We all went into it with a splendid spirit which of course brought us a victory but at a great cost.  Your son and many of the old timers were killed.  It will be a consolation to you to know that your son gave his life gallantly doing his duty.  He was just lightly wounded but still kept on until he received the wound from which he later died.  He was recommended for conspicuous bravery and if he would have lived would have been decorated.  I often say when I write my own mother that there are many worse things that could happen to me then being killed out here.  I fell that we are really fighting for our own people at home and that eventually we will win and gain that freedom for humanity of which we Canadians are so proud.  Pray that we will be worthy of that victory soon.  I know that you will be a sorrowful mother and remember the sacrifice your son has made is for the most noble cause.

With my best wishes,

Your son’s friend

  1. F. Malkin(?), Lt.




From Perth Remembered-The photo shows a group of girls and soldiers in front of the Perth Railway Station in 1914. Recognized are Murray Walker and Olive Sinclair (right back row) and Doris Wilson (Fraser) centre front row.


Lt. Stanley Kerfoot, son of Mr. George Kerfoot, Smith’s Falls, met with an accident Friday night at Brockville.  He was en route overseas and at about 6:30 Friday evening as the soldier train was pulling out of the station Lt. Kerfoot was walking from one coach to another and in the darkness mistook the direction and fell from the car.  He was picked up but as the train was moving slowly he got only a bad shaking up and several scratches about the face and body.  He was conveyed to the hospital in Brockville and is now resting comfortably.

John D. Brady left Sunday evening to join the Flying Corps and before his departure was presented with a handsome gold wristwatch by the choir of St. James Church of which he was a member.  (note, the address given with the presentation was not transcribed.)

Photo Sapper Fred Hale

Sapper Fred Hale, son of Mrs. Richard J. Hale of town who went overseas with the Canadian Engineers.  He is at present at a hospital in France ill with the trench fever and came through the Passchenduele(?) engagement


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News

Down at the Old Perth Gaol




Photo and text from Perth Remembered

Perth being the seat of Bathurst District the town was given a courthouse and jail. Opening in 1821, The original building was two storeys high with the courtroom on the second floor and five cells on the main floor along with the jailer’s two room apartment. The cells were often filled with brawling Irish loggers from the Ottawa River. The building was rebuilt in 1841 following a fire. A provincial inspection in 1862 counted 27 inmates including 16 women. Charges ranged from murder and assault, to vagrancy and concealing the birth of a child. The most common offence was found to be “breach of indentureship by leaving one’s master.


Photo by Linda Seccaspina 2015 during a Perth Classic Theatre event

On may 23, 1851, Francis Beare, who was convicted of killing William Barry was hanged in front of a crowd that was assembled in front of the courthouse. Five executions were carried out  but few inmates in the Perth jail were there for criminal acts. Most were housed there for shelter for vagrancy until the House of Refuge was built in 1903. Of special interest, on the green sward in front of the Court House, are two brass field pieces (three-pounders).


Photo by Linda Seccaspina 2015 during a Perth Classic Theatre event
The little “barkers” were originally taken from the French by the Duke of York, in Flan
ders, and did service for the British in the American war, when they were retaken from the Americans by the British of Saratoga. They were retaken from the Americans by the British at the battle of Chrysler’s Farm, on the 11th of November, 1813. They were taken to Perth when peace was declared, and presented to the town, and for years were used for saluting purposes on high days and holidays.

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Auctionering Without a License and Pigs on the Loose

Going to the Chapel –Drummond Whalen and Johnson of Carleton Place

“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” in Lanark County

Jailhouse Rock in Lanark County Part 2

The Drunken Desperados of Carleton Place

The Young Offenders of Lanark County